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Preparing Your Home for Extreme Weather [Checklist]

Extreme Weather can come in many forms based on season and location. As recent events have shown us, nature’s fury can not only threaten human life but also severely damage your property.

Some areas are prone to winter storms, snow and blizzards while some areas lay on fault lines that are prone to earthquakes and others near volcanoes that may erupt. Some areas have to watch out for high heat indexes or wildfires while other areas near large bodies of water endure threats of hurricanes and floods. And areas with warm, humid, unstable air provide perfect conditions for tornadoes to arise.

Extreme Weather Emergency Supply Kit for your Home

Regardless of the type of natural disaster that could hit your area, there are steps you can take to protect your home and your loved ones in the event of an emergency. Being prepared can possibly save your property, but more importantly, it may save your life. Be sure to monitor the weather forecast until the storm has passed. Sometimes natural disasters start a chain of other disasters, so be mindful and always be prepared.

In any emergency, have a plan in place and an emergency kit prepared for your home. We’ve prepared a checklist for things to keep on hand, packed up and ready at all times for any natural disaster situation.

Emergency Supplies Kit

  • A Generator — to run certain necessary appliances such as a fridge, or even a whole house generator in case the power goes out
  • 3-day supply of nonperishable food (as a minimum) — use up refrigerated food first before it goes bad
  • 3-day supply of bottled water (as a minimum) — 1 gallon per day, per person
  • Extra clothes, towels and blankets for each person
  • First aid kit — include items like bandages and medicines, here is the Red Cross' list of what to put in a first aid kit
  • Sanitation items — like toilet paper
  • Extra cash — when the power goes out, you may not be able to use a credit or debit card
  • Signaling devices — such as horns or flares
  • A fire extinguisher — make sure it’s not damaged or expired
  • Baby and pet supplies — have at least a 3-day supply for items like baby diapers or dog food
  • Personal hygiene items — like soap, deodorant and toothpaste
  • Medication — a week’s supply
  • Batteries
  • Lights — flashlights, portable lanterns, candles, matches, lighters
  • Manual can opener and utensils
  • Battery-operated radio — to keep track of the storm’s location
  • Battery-operated charger for your phone — they sell an emergency weather station that is powered in different ways (wind, solar, battery, crank) and has multi-uses such as a phone charging area, flashlight, radio, etc.
  • Battery-operated smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors and CO2 detectors — in case the power goes out, be sure to test the batteries every month!
  • Tools and methods to secure your home (whether you are buckled down in the home for the storm or evacuating) — also keep tools on hand to turn off utilities if necessary
  • Containers of fresh water — right before the storm hits, fill containers with fresh water and fill the bathtub with water for washing and other water needs
  • Copies of important personal documents that you can easily grab in case you need to evacuate (keep these in watertight, fire-safe areas if possible)
    • Medication lists
    • Personal identification
    • Lease or deed to your home
    • Insurance information
    • Bank information
    • Birth certificates
    • Wills
    • Passports
    • Family and emergency contact info (make sure your Emergency address for 911 is entered in your cell phone’s settings)
  • Games & Activities — life with no electricity and no electronics can be pretty boring. Have paper, pens, books, coloring books, crayons, playing cards or board games on hand to have some family bonding time. Make some memories!
  • Outdoor grill — for cooking outside if weather permits after the emergency passes
  • Car kit — keep items like flares, jumper cables, maps, tools, a first aid kit, bottled water and a GPS in your car at all times

If you have each of the items listed above, you will be very prepared for any type of extreme weather that you may face. But we all know that Mother Nature is a force to be reckoned with and different types of extreme weather may require additional items.

Prepare your Home for Extreme Weather

Types of Extreme Weather

We've prepared tips and advice about each of these extreme weather scenarios you may face:

  1. Tornadoes — common in the Great Plains, the Midwest, the Mississippi Valley and the southern United States during the spring and summer.
  2. Thunderstorms — can occur anywhere in the US but Florida, the Gulf Coast and Arizona have more stormy days than other areas in the country. Thunderstorms are more common during the summer months.
  3. Extreme Heat and Wildfires — extreme heat is common in southern states, especially in the Southwest and wildfires are common in California and areas nearby during the summer.
  4. Hurricanes — common on the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts during the summer and fall.
  5. Blizzards — common in the upper Midwest, Great Plains and Northeast during winter months.
  6. Floods — can occur across the United States, generally caused by excessive rainfall, excessive snowmelt, storm surge from hurricanes, and dam failure.
  7. Earthquakes — Alaska registers the most earthquakes per year, followed by Oklahoma and California, which has the most damaging earthquakes. Earthquakes can happen anywhere, anytime and no correlation to weather has been found. [Source]
  8. Volcanoes — most common in Alaska where eruptions occur virtually every year. Others are located throughout the west and in Hawaii (there are 169 volcanoes in the US). [Source]

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